Sunday, March 29, 2009
Oh my friends. Not too much energy to write a long note tonight. Today was an exceptionally challenging day. Many times I wanted to stop. Many other people stopped and that seemed like a very sensible thing to do. I mean, what's with all this making things that are one thing stand for something else anyway? Couldn't this just be a bike ride?
Today's distance was listed as 111 miles. I have ridden over 100 miles a couple of times. But that was a long time ago. And at the end of each of those rides I was quite spent. And then I rested for a long time. And there was no wind, at least none that I recall.
Today, Weather Underground (sometimes my friend and sometimes, like today, NOT my friend, predicted 15 - 20 mph winds coming from the South by South East. We were riding south by south east which meant that that wind was going to be smack in the face. And it was going to continue all day long. So not only was today's ride exceptionally long, it was exceptionally difficult. Rough road. Strong wind. Very long distance.
Some riders stopped at the first SAG stop - 20 miles out. Some more stopped at 40. Many stopped at 60. I thought about it, was tempted, and kept riding. I thought about it again at 80. And I thought about it again at 100. I mean, 100 is a respectable distance. But Jan looked and me and told me I could do it and, well, at that point, it seemed she was right. Connie and Sherry had gone on ahead. So all four of us were still on the road.
I drank, ate, took electrolyte tablets, ate more, drank more, and, most importantly, thought about Andrew and Lynn and Lucas. Andrew does not have a choice. He has to keep going. Lynn, too, is keeping going. Lucas tried as hard as he could and he lost the fight. So it seemed like I should, wanted to keep going.
I made it. I rode all 111 miles. Jan and I came in together. Sherry and Connie arrived a few minutes before us. Marci and Lois also made it. And everyone, all of them, stood out on the road and cheered as we rode in, almost as the sun set. We'd started before sunrise. 12 hours, more or less.
This was the hardest bike ride I ever did. And I am going to go to bed.
Thank you for sticking with me on this.
I do read your notes and they mean a lot to me.
Good night Andrew and Lynn and Lucas.
God Bless you all.